As reports of the Bronx fire came in, I knew that the families and friends of residents in that apartment block, and the local community, would be living the same trauma. They would be holding on to hope that their loved ones survived. And in their shock, they would be questioning how the fire happened.
Our fight for justice lies on the foundation that everyone should have a safe and decent home to live in. This should be a right, not a privilege. Your home is supposed to be a haven. The safest place for you and your family. But all too often, the most vulnerable people are given the keys to their home — usually built and maintained to the minimum of standards — and left to it.
There are so many other things authorities must do to keep people informed of how to stay safe in their homes and this should be a wake up call for all managed buildings. At minimum there should be a mandatory component of any tenancy agreement to know what to do if a fire occurs in their home and appropriate fire doors fitted, and this should be supported by regular public information announcements.